The Ultimate Guide to Thrifted Home Decor

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Home decor does not need to be expensive y’all! I’m a firm believer that making your house feel like home takes time. And if you’re willing to spend the time searching through your local thrift shops, then you don’t need to spend a lot of money on decor. I want my home to feel collected, rather than decorated. Full of vintage and antique treasures that hold a lifetime of memories. And one of my favorite ways to achieve that is with thrifted home decor finds! Today’s post is all about thrifting for home decor, and it’s full of my best tips, tricks, ideas and inspo to help you thrift your way to a beautiful home!

This summer I ended up visiting fewer traditional “antique shops”, and I found myself visiting more thrift shops instead. I found so many treasures, some deals and some steals! So I thought today would be a great time to share my summer thrift store finds with you while we chat about thrifting for home decor.

thrift store home decor haul including white metal outdoor table, brass sconce lights, framed art and white porcelain lemon topiary pottery

So alongside all my tips and tricks in today’s post, I’ll also be showing you photos of some of the thrifted items I found this summer. I’ll even tell ya where I found each item and what I paid for it. Spoiler: everything in the photo above (not including the secretary desk) cost just under $60 total!

My Thrifted Home Decor Haul

I took a little break from Instagram this summer, but normally I like to share my thrift stops and antiquing adventures with y’all in my IG stories. Since I haven’t gotten to share my finds with you over on stories, I thought I’d gather them all together and share them here in today’s post, along with all the details and sources.

thrifted white porcelain basket shaped pottery with two handles
white basket shaped pottery
$6 – Habitat for Humanity Restore
vintage james keiller & son ltd. dundee orange marmalade jar pottery made in England
dundee marmalade Crock
$2 – Habitat for Humanity Restore
thrifted gardenista book with a vintage dundee orange marmolade crock on top
gardenista book
$1.50 – Habitat for Humanity Restore
brass sconce lights
$10 each – Habitat for Humanity Restore
chippy white painted metal outdoor table
white metal porch table
$4.99 – Goodwill
vintage white ceramic lemon fruit topiary pottery, made in Portugal for great city traders
ceramic lemon topiary
$5.99 – Goodwill
two vintage brass candlesticks with wax pushers
vintage brass candlesticks
$1.99 each – Goodwill
white embroidered table linen tucked into a dresser drawer
embroidered table linen piece
$3 – a local thrift shop called “Have to Have It” in Hampstead, NC
vintage style floral artwork – New with tags
$3.99 each – Goodwill

Best Places to Shop for Thrifted Home Decor

Most of my finds from today’s post were from Goodwill and the Habitat for Humanity’s Restore. But don’t let my summer thrifting finds limit your hunt to just those two thrift shops! There are so many other places to shop and search for thrifted home decor finds. Here are a few more favorites of mine to try!

Best Online Thrift Stores for Home Decor

Isn’t the internet great? When it comes to thrifted home decor the answer is yes! Here are a few of my favorite places to shop online for our home:

What do you actually type into the search bar when you’re thrifting for home decor online?

When you’re in person, you can just look with your eyes. But online, it really helps to have an idea of what you’re looking for.

So let’s say you want to find a chair. You could just type “chair” into the search bar of a website, and the results will show you all kinds of chairs. Recliners, office chairs, doll house chairs, etc. But if you’re more specific with your search terms, you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for.

Try searching for “wooden chair“, then “vintage chair“, “antique chair“, “old chair“, “dining room chair“, “ladderback chair“, “caned back dining chair“, etc. Try a variety of search terms that describe the item you’re looking for, and you’ll have an easier time finding that item in the search results the more specific you are with your searches. If you’re not seeing enough results, try being less specific to broaden the search results.

#6 Thrifting Tips & Tricks to Remember on Your Next Shopping Trip

If you see something you love, grab it now!

Thrifted home decor often involves lots of one off items, and unique finds that you may not come across again. So if you see something you love, snag it! It’s not like shopping at Target where items are mass produced. That doesn’t mean you have to purchase the item today. But put it in your cart or basket, walk around with the item in your cart as you peruse the rest of the store. Give yourself time to think about the item, and how you might display or use it in your home. It’s not a good feeling walking away only to come back to the shelf and see that the item you were considering is now in someone else’s buggy!

Resist the urge to impulse buy all the things.

Take the time to think about your purchases so you don’t impulse buy all the things! Maybe you found a really cool vintage lamp at a great price, or a popular and rare antique item for a steal… but if that item ultimately just doesn’t fit your style or isn’t the right size for your space, it’s not always a good buy. Grab the item to give yourself time to think, but don’t feel pressured to buy something just because it’s a good price.

Go often because inventory changes all the time.

You’ll notice most of my summer thrifting finds were from 2 thrift shops, but I didn’t find all of these items on the same day. The finds in this post all came from at least 6 different thrifting days. I kindof lost track! Sometimes I found nothing, other times I found one or two items. But each time I went there was new inventory and new things to see at each place I shopped at!

Don’t just look at an item as it is, but rather think about what it could be.

Could you paint the item? Or maybe re-upholster it? What if you styled it in a unique or unexpected way to give it a new purpose and life? It helps to see past what the item looks like on the shelves and think about how it could look cleaned up and with your own personal touch on it. In fact, the secretary desk seen in the photos above was a thrifted find from a while back. I refinished the secretary desk and gave it a fresh coat of paint to clean it up and make it fit our home’s aesthetic a little better. In this linked post, you can see more photos of the refinished secretary desk, including the exact paint color and a photo of what it looked like before.

thrifted secretary desk with claw feet painted with Fusion Mineral Paint

How to know what an item is worth?

Want to learn more about an item before you buy? There’s an app for that! It’s called Google Lens and it is amazing when you’re antiquing or thrifting for home decor. All you have to do is take a photo and it will search the internet for similar images. Sometimes it will even pull up sales listings for that item or a similar item on Ebay, Etsy or another online marketplace. That’s a great way to determine pricing info and value. I have even used Google Lens to research and identify my Grandmother’s vintage china collection! This old hand-me-down china collection has the coolest story. I shared the story and the history of the collection in this blog post, along with a few tips for how to identify vintage and antique dishes.

vintage china collection with roses and gold rim

How to get the best price?

In my opinion, as long as you’re friendly and polite about it, it never hurts to negotiate on a price. Every thrift shop will have their own policies and procedures about negotiating prices. If I’m at a local establishment, I like to say something like “I found this old dresser, and I would love to buy it for our home. What’s the best price you could do on this piece?” If I find an item I like that has a little damage or more wear and tear than I’d expect, I might say “I found this blanket but it has a few stain here and there, would you be willing to sell it at a discounted price?” Don’t expect a yes, but also don’t be afraid to ask!

#15 Things to Look for When Thrifting Home Decor

I love to decorate our home with antique and vintage finds, and lots of woods and whites. So I tend to look for wood and white pieces when I am thrifting and antiquing for our home. Here are a few items I always keep an eye out for that you might want to add to your treasure hunting wish list:

  • old white platters
  • vintage milk glass dishware
  • wooden kitchenware (rolling pins, mashers, etc)
  • shoe lasts
  • brass candlesticks
  • wooden horse stirrups
  • books – old and new!
  • wood corbels and architectural salvage
  • picture frames
  • vintage & antique light fixtures
  • antique mirrors
  • hooks / knobs / hanging storages pieces
  • handmade quilts
  • white doilies and table linens
  • extra chairs
thrifted home decor haul including white metal outdoor table, brass sconce lights, framed art and white porcelain pottery

A beautiful home doesn’t have to be expensive! It can be collected slowly, one thrift store find at a time. I hope that is the message that stands out the most from this post. Thanks for stopping by the blog today and for hanging out with me while I share my passion for thrifted home decor. I hope it was helpful, and I also hope it brought a little inspiration to your scroll!

Love, Brittany

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    1. Wow, thank you Pamela! Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog, and your comment this afternoon means more than you know. 🙂

  1. My mom & I have been to Goodwill, Restore, Salvation Army in Jacksonville, New Bern, Morehead and never find awesome finds like these. We do have a couple antique malls that we enjoy and at times they’re priced like thrift stores. But we’ve never been able to find good thrift stores in eastern NC (we are from California where there are a LOT of options). I love your finds. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I don’t always find things, and this haul was all found over several different shopping trips and over the course of several weeks during the summer. A lot of the times I went, I’d find nothing and the most I picked up in one day was like 2 items. Keep looking, the good stuff is out there! 🙂

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